The 43rd edition of the annual Sanremo Round Table on current issues of IHL, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Institute, will be held online on the Institute’s learning platform starting Wednesday 9th September 2020.

The flagship event of the Institute, jointly organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross, will cover this year the whole month of September through five dedicated webinars on the topic “New Dimensions and Challenges of Urban Warfare”. 

The Sanremo Round Table webinar series will start on Wednesday 9th September at 15.00 (3 pm) CET with the opening session, which will be held in person at the “Humanitarium” – the ICRC centre for exchange and debate on humanitarian law, policy and action – in Geneva. The session will provide a cross interview on the subject with Edoardo Greppi, President of the IIHL, and Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President of the ICRC, followed by the opening remarks by Fausto Pocar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sanremo Institute. A second part of the webinar will be devoted to the introduction of the evolution of urban warfare over the past 50 years and its impact on civilians.

9th September 2020
“Humanitarium”, ICRC, Geneva (Switzerland), Online

OPENING SESSION

THE EVOLUTION OF URBAN WARFARE OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVILIANS

15.00-15.50 OPENING SESSION

Cross-interview
Chair: Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC

Edoardo Greppi, President, IIHL
Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President, ICRC

Introductory remarks
Félix Baumann, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva

IIHL 50th anniversary
Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva

The Institute’s Main Achievements over the Last 50 Years and its challenges ahead
Fausto Pocar, Honorary President, IIHL

15.50-17.00 THE EVOLUTION OF URBAN WARFARE OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS
AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVILIANS

Chair: Edoardo Greppi, President, IIHL

Cities in the Crossfire – the evolution of armed conflict in urban areas over the past 50 years
Antony Beevor, Military Historian

Protecting civilians during urban warfare; challenges from recent conflict and future prospects
Darren Stewart, Brigadier, Head, Operational Law, British Army Headquarters, and Council member, IIHL

Reducing the humanitarian consequences of protracted urban warfare
Cordula Droege, Chief Legal Office and Head of the Legal Division, ICRC

16th September 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar

PROTECTING CIVILIANS DURING URBAN WARFARE
LESSONS LEARNED FROM RECENT OPERATIONS

15.00-16.15

Chair: Nils Melzer, Vice-President, IIHL

The vulnerability of modern cities infrastructure to urban warfare
Wendy Pullan, Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies and Director of the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, University of Cambridge

Gaza: lesson learned from Cast Lead (2008-2009) and Protective Edge (2014) Operations
Eran Shamir-Borer, Colonel, Head of the International Law Department, Israel Defense Forces

The challenges of protecting civilians during urban warfare from the commanders’ perspective – lessons learned from Basra
James Ian Bashall, Lieutenant General (retd), former  Commander, Home Command, British Army

23rd September 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar

ADDRESSING THE HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES OF URBAN WARFARE IN THE MIDST OF THE HOSTILITIES

15.00-16.15

Chair: Robert Mood, President, Norwegian Red Cross

How women with disabilities address the challenges of living in a city at war
Amina Azimi, Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organisation and Empowering Women with Disabilities, Kabul

Humanitarian consequences and protection risks faced by civilians during urban warfare
Caroline Baudot, Deputy Head of Unit, Protection of the Civilian Population Unit, ICRC

Persons displaced by urban fighting: understanding their needs and how to respond
Nancy Polutan-Teulieres, Senior Protection Officer, Global Protection Cluster, UNHCR

Challenges of ensuring the prompt evacuation and care of wounded and sick during urban operations
Michael von Bertele, Maj. Gen. (retd), Non-Executive Director, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust; former Humanitarian Director, Save the Children

30th September 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar
THE CHOICE OF MEANS AND METHODS IN URBAN WARFARE

15.00-16.15

Chair: Thomas Hajnoczi, Director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Foreign Affairs Federal Ministry, Austria

The challenges of applying the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in urban environment characterised by dual-use objects and intermingled civilians and military
Warren Wells, Colonel, Staff Judge Advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, US Army

Explosive weapons in populated areas – the law and the policy
Eirini Giorgou, Legal Adviser, ICRC

Best practices in the choice and the use of means and methods of warfare in urban operations
Rudolph Stamminger, Colonel, Head, International Humanitarian Law office, French Ministry of the Armed Forces

The Institute is currently working on the English subtitles for the presentation delivered in French during the webinar.

For this reason, the recording of this session will be available soon. 

7th October 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar
IS A CHANGE OF APPROACH REQUIRED TO BETTER PROTECT CIVILIANS IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT?

15.00-16.15

Chair: Cordula Droege, Chief Legal Office and Head of the Legal Division, ICRC

Putting the protection of civilians at the heart of military thinking
Sahr Muhammedally, MENA & South Asia Director at Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)

Doctrine, planning and training for urban warfare: what remains to be done
John W. Spencer, Major, Chair of urban warfare studies with the Modern War Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Collecting the views of armed non-state actors on the conduct of hostilities in urban settings
Annyssa Bellal, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser in International Humanitarian Law, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

16.15-16.30 CLOSING WORDS

Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC
Edoardo Greppi, President, International Institute of Humanitarian Law